From Waitomo to Taupo #New Zealand
I’ve been busy the last week. I discovered that I have way to little time to do everything I want in New Zealand and I did some fast stops. I’ve done some pretty cool things as well and met some people to travel with. Right now I’m in Wellington, arrived here this evening. But I’ll give you a recap of my last week.
So the last time I wrote you I was in Paihia, Bay of Islands. From there on I went down to the Waitomo Caves where the glowworms live. I met up with Gill, a girl I met in Paihia. Together we did one of the many tours through the caves. You can even go rafting on the river through the caves! It was amazing. The glowworms are magical. They are like stars but inside a cave. You can’t stop looking at them! It is hard to believe that they are such killers (they attract insects with their lights and catch them in the slime strings they make that hang from the walls).
From here on I took the bus to Rotorua and saw my first volcanic activity. This town is filled with it! There are geysers and mud pools in the park and the ponds where boiling. Even on the streets you could sometimes see steam coming out of the drain!! It was pretty impressive, but it smelt like eggs everywhere.
The next day I went to Taupo to do the Tongariro Alpine crossing, New Zealand’s most impressive one day hike (as they say it themselves). The first evening I went on an evening hike to the Haku Falls and walked the spa road back to watch the stars come out from a hot water spring. The only thing missing here was a beer (forgot to take that).
The Tongariro Crossing was amazing. We had to get up at 4am to start early. This hike goes through the area that was used as Mordor in Lord of the Rings. It is quite heavy at times (you go up 400m in one go twice and you can feel it in your legs) and very cold at the top! But the views are just stunning. It is all volcanic and I’ve never walked something like this in my life.
I’m starting to get used to the sleeping in hostels and (un)packing my backpack. It is tiring at times because there are always people around you who you should socialize with and you are constantly having the same conversations. The feeling of backpacking is different here than in Thailand or Malaysia. It feels like there is less freedom and more control and planning here. It is really easy to travel around, but I just don’t really feel the backpackers vibe. Like one of the people I met said “there are 3 different groups in the hostels here: the ultimate traveller that never goes home, the 18-year-old girls that try to find themselves and the fancy packers that take too much stuff”. I’m not sure in what group I fit in, but I kind of got what he meant. Maybe it is just too easy here (or to expensive).
I can’t believe that there is only one month and a half left of the 5 months I started with. Time flies when you are having fun.